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A Little-V Blog: The ATS-V purchase and ownership experience

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

Well "Grumpy" official Cadillac isn't saying whether or not the ATS-V's under hood space was designed for a V8 or not. Personally, I don't think it was. Now, a Gen V8 may fit and Heinricy indeed told me in the discussion he and I had back on the 14th that, if a twin-turbocharged V6 fits, a Gen 4 or 5 V8 will fit, too. As for the weight issue, I'm not sure what an LF4 weighs but the LS7 weighs 454-lbs.

One situation which makes me a little skeptical about the LS7 continuing beyond the 5th Gen Camaro Z28 which goes out of production soon or may even be out of production now, is that it's a Gen IV engine and I question GM's ability to continue making a Gen when all its engine manufacturing resources have moved to Gen 5. Plus LS7 is a port-injected engine. GM has gone totally to DGI with V8s. There are no direct-injected cylinder heads for LS7. While the LS7 is a great engine, it's reputation has been somewhat soiled by a problem with valve guide wear. I'm not sure Cadillac would want to put LS7 into a new brand and risk having to deal with that baggage.

That said, it's possible GM might justify a special small run of "ATS-V+s" because the small numbers might not affect the CAFE numbers that much. Might it be an "ATS-V+" with another 40-hp and carbon brakes? Might not sell very well, but it sure would make a hell of a performance statement. The question we need to ask: "Is that the type of performance statment Cadillac wants to make."

But, MT's and our speculation, aside, here's what Dave Caldwell said when I asked him about whether or not a V8 was considered during the ATS-V's development.

Yes, certainly that was a question in the development process. We were heavily committed to the Twin Turbo, hence it's very existence in the first place (it is a Cadillac-exclusive engine, designed essentially for this car.) But sure, this was something discussed.

Our approach came down to a couple of simple factors:
1 - The Twin Turbo is exceptional. V-Series is about track-capable (from the factory) luxury cars, at the pinnacle of performance, delivered in a unique and exhilarating fashion. This engine in the ATS-V is superb at fulfilling that mission.
2 - So why not a V8? We have a car coming soon - CTS-V in August - that fulfills this desire splendidly! It will of course be a supercharged V8 with 640 hp, an arsenal of torque, etc.

We are expanding V-Series (and the whole of Cadillac) to appeal to a bit broader audience. So we did not want these two V-Series product lines to be too similar, covering the same exact territory. ATS-V gives us the opportunity to broaden V-Series by creating a slightly different performance characteristic. One car is a bit smaller, more accessible (relatively speaking) and agile. The big brother is a little bit larger, more elite. We like to say that ATS-V is "the scalpel" and CTS-V is "the sledgehammer."


Funnily enough, the measured performance of the two cars will be quite close. The Twin Turbo does not dilute the V-Series standard whatsoever - I'd even say it adds to and enhances the V-Series toolbox. The car is extremely capable, superbly quick, such that we're pleased to put it up against absolutely every car in its category.


We at Cadillac will be among the few in the industry who will continue to develop and deploy new V8s in the future. So we, of course, adore the V8 engine, which Cadillac virtually invented as a mass-produced engine 101 years ago!

I also asked Dave to comment specifically on the story on the Motor Trend web site's "Wide Open Throttle" page. His reply was pretty pointed.

That story is not accurate. We are not doing a V8 in that car.
MT knows this...
Let me know what you guys think about Caldwell's answer.
 
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Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
The car comes with an inflation kit so if you have a small leak, like a nail or something, you can temporarily fix it with that. If you have a more significant tire failure, better have a AAA card.

The CTS V2 is the same - No runflats and the inflation kit. Lucky for me, the sedan and wagon have a spare tire well. I bought a spare tire kit with jack and lug wrench just in case. The Volt was the same - inflation kit, no spare. Our regular ATS is the same.

Given the MagRide shock system, I'd rather have runflats on the car and not need that inflation kit. Oh well.
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
I also asked Dave to comment specifically on the story on the Motor Trend web site's "Wide Open Throttle" page. His reply was pretty pointed.
That story is not accurate. We are not doing a V8 in that car.
MT knows this..

Too bad, I was sorta hoping of putting an LS7 ATS next to my LS7 Vert - if I could afford it.
Love the LS7 motor!!!!!
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
Looking at the weather you've been getting over there near OKC, you'd better be looking at putting a submarine next to that 427 Convertible.
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
Looking at the weather you've been getting over there near OKC, you'd better be looking at putting a submarine next to that 427 Convertible.

I'm thinking an airboat!

Forecast is for sunny weather the next week. That would be nice. There's no place left for more rain to go.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe

You're right. I should not have relied on memory.
Heck, I had a picture of PBC weighing my own engine
Nothing like being a dumb ass, eh?

_DSC1631.JPG
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
Latest on my ATS-V is that its broadcast code is 3400 which, my pals at Bunnin Chevrolet/Cadillac tell me means that the ordering information has been sent to the assembly plant.

All I have at this point is what a BMW M3 driver will see just before I pass him/her coming out of a turn.

SandysCar.jpg
click to enlarge
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
That's wonderful. Won't be long now.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
I have to start today's post by saying that I got a good laugh at these banner ads which are running at the top of the site. The one at the top of the forum directory pages said "Upgrade to a Camaro" which, of course, is totally a joke on a Caddy V-Series forum. The one at the top of this page says: "Arrest Records: 2 Secrets." I'm thinkin', "They must know something about Tuna that I don't."
chuckle.gif


In other news...I emailed with Dave Caldwell, Cadillac's Director of Communications, earlier today asking about when ATS-V production is going to start. Mr. Caldwell replied....
We have started in very small numbers, but likely are a couple of weeks away from shipping in any real numbers, as there are the normal quality assurance procedures taking place in the start-up.

Next, I asked Dave if he's share Cadillac's planned ATS-V production numbers for 2016. He declined to answer directly but said...
Will not be tens of thousands.

I also was in touch with the PR firm which represents Xpel paint protection film and CORSA exhausts. I'm told that both companies plan to offer products for the ATS-V.
 
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Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
Read the three way test between the ATS-V, the M3 and the C63 in the August "Car and Driver"

We didn't so so well. In the overall numbers the ATS-V finished last with 201 points compared to the M3's 207 and the Benz's 205. We finished first in the chassis and fun-to-drive categories but finished last in the vehicle interior category and the powertrain category.

ATS-V was criticized for its engine lacking low-end torque. Cheap interior trim (what else is new for GM) and the CUE system. Just about every magazine story on the ATS or ATS-V which I've read says the CUE system sucks.
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
I found this article from Jun '15
2016 Cadillac ATS-V Sedan Test ? Review ? Car and Driver

At any rate, C&D bad mouths the CUE in the story above and bad mouths the designers for not keeping up with the engineers while calling the ATV V the best driving car in the class (ATS V, M3, C63).

My experience with infotainment systems is limited to GM stuff. CUE takes a little getting used to but it does okay. I wish I had access to other cars for a couple of weeks, like the car mag drivers have, so I can make my own comparison between them.
My guess is that most of the mag drivers and testers do not have Cadillac (GM) cars in their garages and are, therefore, prejudiced toward what they normally use.

Now, if somebody would loan me a loaded M3 and C63 for a few weeks, I would able to determine for myself whether the CUE us as bad as these C&D people keep saying.

Notgonnahappen!
 

~tc~

Seasoned Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Messages
49
Location
Houston, TX
Exactly. I would also guess (some have even admitted it) that none of them take a few minutes to set up CUE how they would want it ... Or someone in the press junket did, and that's not how this reporter likes it.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
Right after I posted about the CD story on ATS-V vs BMW vs Mercedes, I emailed Dave Caldwell, the Communications Director at Cadillac, and asked him to comment on the negative aspects of the article.

To date, he's not replied to any of my questions.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
I resent my email to Dave Caldwell in re: the Car-and-Driver story and he finally emailed me back.

On the CD's comments about the CUE, Caldwell says:

CUE receives a big upgrade for 2016 - those new elements (featuring Apple CarPlay, faster processing, some streamlining to things like navigation screens) were not installed 2-3 months ago when that comparison occurred for that magazine. These new elements are in the 2016 models that will be produced from this point forward. The design of connectivity systems is by its nature a bit subjective. We're pleased that we've been able to consistently upgrade CUE, and the feedback of our owners is positive - we're looking forward to that growing in 16MY as the system progresses.
Also, earlier in the blog, "~tc~" makes the point:

Exactly. I would also guess (some have even admitted it) that none of them take a few minutes to set up CUE how they would want it ... Or someone in the press junket did, and that's not how this reporter likes it.
Maybe that's the problem...dumb-assed media wonks not spending enough time with the system.

On the powertrain issue, Caldwell did not really address CD's comments directly, in telling me:

We're pleased that Cadillac is the focal point of the issue you reference. Elite high performance cars like this are all formidable in their own right, and each are significant pieces of work to be sure. Cadillac V-Series is about exhilarating driving experiences, and the ATS-V delivers this in abundance.
As for my still-on-order ATS-V, the car got built on the 21st. It ships by rail to Mira Loma CA then by truck to Bunnin Cadillac.

Also, I'm starting to make a list of aftermarket items I want to get onto the car ASAP, like some WeatherTech Floor Liners, a Cargo Mat for the trunk and maybe some of those "LampGard" things for the headlights.


 
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Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
I just read Motor Trend's story on the ATS-V sedan automatic, which is the configuration I ordered. Basically MT liked the car except that the engine is too quiet. MT says...
If there's anything to take issue with, it's the ATS-V's engine. It's not that the twin-turbo V-6 mill is a bad engine — it's actually anything but. It's just that it's lacking in personality. It's too quiet. Cadillac V-cars are supposed to be loud and in-your-face — the Guns N' Roses to BMW and Mercedes' Scorpions — and this one just isn't.

I just emailed my contact at CORSA exhaust to see if they are going to do an ATS-V system.
:chuckle:
 

Tuna

Seasoned Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2011
Messages
799
Location
Mustang, OK
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
'11 V Wagon, ( '13 427 Vette & '14 ATS)
Is the ATS V a dual mode exhaust like our Vettes?
I can't remember reading this one anywhere.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
Is the ATS V a dual mode exhaust like our Vettes?
I can't remember reading this one anywhere.

There has been no reference to a bypass exhaust system in either press info or any of the mainstream road test stories published to date.

That said, I have a copy of the "2016 Cadillac V-Series Details Book" which Cadillac makes available to dealers and it has listing for an "exhaust valve" in a table of various systems and characteristics which are altered by pressing the mode button in the console.

What's not given is any information about this valve or its function.
 

Hib Halverson

Technical Writer for Internet & Print Media
Joined
Mar 20, 2015
Messages
221
Location
CenCoast CA
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2016 ATS-V Sedan, 2016 ATS-V Coupe
In reading that book some more, I learned that both the ATS-V and the CTS-V have "Engine Sound Enhancement" which is described as natural engine sounds amplified into the cabin though the sound system to enhance the performance driving experience."

It doesn't say whether this is available only if the sound system is turned on or whether you hear it all the time.
 

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